Updated: Mar 18, 2020
There are many interesting reasons why alignment is so important.
But first, let's sit and think what alignment is and what it means for us.
To be aligned means to be straight. To be in line.
So, that also means that particular laws help us to find our position according to them. And not to be aligned means exactly the opposite. We go against these laws either because we are not aware of them or because we choose to break them.
If we take the body, for example, we can see that the two sides are related exactly the way the upper and lower parts are also related. That means that when we practice yoga, being in an asana that is, we must observe the balance between the two sides, so there is no dominant one, at least to the extent possible. This also applies to the upper and lower part. Again we need to be aware of how these two cooperate so there is no struggling and no constriction.
One of the most interesting and inspiring things for someone to observe and is how to align oneself with the rhythms of Mother Nature. The sunrise, the sunset, the seasons are all manifestations of the cycle of life and situations that affect us deeply and influence the way we function. So, it is very important to be aligned with those rhythms and not to think of ourselves as something separate and independent. We are always part of our environment and it is impossible to study the behaviour of a human being without taking into concern the surroundings and the impact they have on him.
In the mental level, we carry an uncountable number of perceptions and ideas, so our actions need to be aligned to them as well. Or at least we would like them to be or try to do so. But because we can not always trust that these ideas are valid for us to follow all the time, we can turn to our values or what we think is important in life and what will sustain us in the long run.
For example, if we follow the rule of non-violence or truthfulness we have a compass that shows us the way when we get lost. And if we accept the fact that we are interconnected, then our actions do not have the purpose to hurt or deceive. So, that brings us again to the concept of alignment and how we can practice it.
It is because of the possibility of getting lost, that we choose to have a map to guide us along the way. Some people choose to follow it but also take the risk and visit unknown territories and some people don't take this risk.
Karma? Temperament? Who can know exactly?
What happens when someone is out of alignment? The first thing that occurs is discomfort and even pain. This is the signal that informs us to get back on track, whether that means to investigate and modify the practice of yoga, to bring a certain balance regarding the way we operate and to reevaluate the relationships we are in. Without this inner conflict, we wouldn't have to ability to reorganize ourselves, and that is the value of being in pain without sticking to it.